In a significant step towards boosting second-strike capabilities, India on Wednesday tested a new 600-km range Shaurya ballistic missile, improving its second-strike capabilities. This missile can be fired from underground silos unlike the Prithvi and Agni missiles.
The surface-to-surface missile, capable of carrying a one-ton conventional or nuclear warhead, was successfully fired from a 40-feet deep pit with an in-built canister.
The Prithvi (150-350-km range), Agni-I (700-km) and Agni-II (2000-km-plus) missiles have already been inducted into the armed forces, along with the Agni-III (3,500-km). However, all these missiles are vulnerable to enemy pre-emptive strikes.
Shaurya missiles can remain hidden or camouflaged in underground silos from enemy surveillance or satellites till they are fired from the special storage-cum-launch canisters.